Monday, November 21, 2016

Trail Running + You : Winning Combo

Would you believe this is an hour outside of London? (near Denbies Winery to boot!)

Everyone says variety is the spice of life. This applies to running as well. I am normally a road runner (meep meep!) but every once in a while I like to mix things up a bit and do a bit of trail. I feel like the photos I have interspersed in this posting would be reason enough (all were taken on a trail run or a hike), but still if you must ask why...
Typical view along the Cotswold Way.. NBD

1) Workout! Posh Spice did not lie- spice up your life! Its good to vary your routine. Trail running forces you to work your core as you are obviously not as stable as you would be on a nice flat road. 

2) Hills! Yes the countryside typically has more of these than your roads. In fact, they seem to be bloody everywhere. If you are not used to these bad boys take your time and don't be afraid to stop and walk. Endurance is built over time, not in a day. 

3) Views! The best part of trails are that they are typically in the countryside, which means-- epic vistas. I defy you to not start singing "Land of Hope and Glory" when you hit a sweeping panorama or an idyllic country scene. It makes you realise that maybe these non-city slickers are onto something....

4) Trails everywhere! So I know this goes against #3 but to be fair London does a pretty good shout of having trails within the M25. Epping Forest and Richmond Park are two of the big areas where you can go off-piste, but there are so many parks and woods around we are actually spoilt for choice. I am sure most cities have the same, you just gotta do some Google-foo, or ask at your local running store... those cats certainly know their stuff!

5) No new equipment! I say this with a bit of a caveat, because not all trails are created equal and of course weather can play a role. However, on a normal day and on a normal trail (nothing technical) you can wear your normal running shoes. Of course if you begin to make it a habit or you want to do more technical running, or maybe don't want to twist an ankle if very muddy, trail shoes would not go amiss. However I have done all trail runs this year in either my Brooks Ravenna's or my Asics Kayanos-- and I did pretty OK. I have also done less than 10 trail runs this year... which now that I think of it, is quite sad!

So the next time you are feeling a bit blah about your running regime-- throw in a trail run. I guarantee you that it will reinvigorate you in your training. If not, you can at least have a pint after in an awesome country pub ^_^.
Seven Sisters and Liz (not my sister)